Belfast Telegraph

Colour and culture come to life as Mela festival proves a hit

By Staff Reporter

THE colourful Mela festival burst into life over the weekend.

The Botanic Gardens in Belfast hosted to the Mela; an celebration of arts, culture and heritage from around the world. The gardens were packed with thousands of people relaxing on the grass enjoying the food, ice cream, jewellery and other exotic items, as well as live entertainment from Irish dancers to a Balkan group who played at Glastonbury.

Michael Boyd from Belfast, who works in community relations, said: "It shows a really positive side to Belfast."

Stallholder Paul Taggart added: "It's nice to see so many people from all over the world in one place."

Some people, like Emma Cairns from Belfast, got henna tattoos done. "I love the multi-cultural aspect; you get to see a lot of cultures that you wouldn't see every day," she said.

Junior minister Jennifer McCann said: "Mela is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through collaboration and mutual respect."

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